Orange County's new tow truck rules get mixed response

Article and Video Courtesy of Channel 35 My Fox

By Mike Synan

Published August 8, 2015



Orange County is not making any immediate changes to new rules for tow truck drivers and companies that were put into place last November.
Commissioners were told that total cars towed in a three-month period from when the new rules were put in place were basically cut in half. There was a particular emphasis on fewer cars being towed in the I-Drive area. Commissioner Victoria Siplin says it is welcome relief for tourists.


"We want to make sure when they come here that their experience is a pleasant one. They don't know all the rules. They don't know all the laws, but we want to make sure we accommodate them."

The tow truck companies are not particularly happy with the new rules. Several showed up to ask for changes including Maysa Shouman of Airport Towing.


"It's hurting our business tremendously. I feel like we are paying for the predatory towers that really are the ones that need to be looked at."

The chief complaint among the companies is that they are now required to have a property owner or manager on site to sign off on each and every car they tow. John Santanello is with the Stony Brook Homeowners Association. He echoed those concerns saying they do not allow cars to park on the street overnights.

"As much as we love our property manager, we can't make her work between the hours of 1am and 6am. Having someone there to actually sign is a problem for us."
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was happy with the results and says while they will listen to companies and homeowners associations, they are not likely to make major changes.
"I think that the predatory towing problems that we've had in the past are definitely down. That's a good sign. Not eliminated, but we've seen a decline, and that's an improvement."


Some of the major changes enacted in November include the property owner signing off on each tow. Drivers are also required to take pictures of each tow to prove the car was actually parked illegally.
The companies must now accept credit and debit cards in addition to cash, and must offer customers change if that customer does not have the exact amount of cash.